The world’s most powerful passports for 2024 have been revealed in a new ranking, with an unprecedented six countries sharing the top spot.

The annual Henley Passport Index scores countries’ travel documents according to how many destinations they provide access to, either visa free or with visa on arrival.

After claiming the top spot for five years running, Japan has been joined by France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Spain.

All offer access to 194 destinations out of 227 worldwide, visa free.

South Korea joins Finland and Sweden in second place with visa-free travel to 193 destinations, while four European nations take joint third on 192: Austria, Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The UK has leapt up two places this year to take the fourth spot alongside Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway and Portugal, offering access to 191 nations apiece.

Greece, Malta and Switzerland round out the top five, all offering visa-free access to 190 places.

The US has retained seventh place with access to 188 destinations without requiring a visa in advance. It has now been a decade since the UK and the US jointly held first place on the index, back in 2014.

At the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan offers the least powerful passport, giving access to just 28 destinations without obtaining a visa prior to travel.

It is followed by Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.

The gap between the most and least powerful passports has grown significantly since the index began.

Dr Christian H Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, said: “The average number of destinations travellers can access visa free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024.

“However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa.”

The index is created using official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

10 most powerful passports 2024

  1. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain (194)
  2. Finland, South Korea, Sweden (193)
  3. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands (192)
  4. Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, UK (191)
  5. Greece, Malta, Switzerland (190)
  6. Australia, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Poland (189)
  7. Canada, Hungary, US (188)
  8. Estonia, Lithuania (187)
  9. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (186)
  10. Iceland (185)

10 least powerful passports 2024

  1. Afghanistan (28)
  2. Syria (29)
  3. Iraq (31)
  4. Pakistan (34)
  5. Yemen (35)
  6. Somalia (36)
  7. Libya, Nepal, Palestinian Territories (40)
  8. Bangladesh, North Korea (42)
  9. Eritrea, Sri Lanka (43)
  10. Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan (45)

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